Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy's Trash Free Seas program, said: "Starbucks' decision to phase out single-use plastic straws is a shining example of the important role that companies can play in stemming the tide of ocean plastic".
Plastic straws have proven hard to recycle, not because of the material they are made from but because they are too slim for recycling production lines to effectively sort through.
Starbucks announced Monday that it will stop using plastic straws at all of its stores worldwide.
In a move meant to cut back on waste, the global coffee giant said Monday that it would eliminate plastic straws from its more than 28,000 locations globally by 2020.
"Not using a straw is the best thing we can do for the environment".
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A week after the city of Seattle banned plastic drinking straws and utensils, Starbucks announced it would follow suit in eliminating plastic straws around the world by 2020.
Still, those who support limiting plastic straws say they are generally unnecessary and a ban is good symbol. And University of Portland students in April mounted a successful campaign to get plastic straws banned from campus. Straws add up to about 2,000 tons of the almost 9 million tons of plastic waste that ends up in the water each year. McDonald's is also actively working on eliminating plastic straws and is now testing alternative straws in the United Kingdom and Ireland, where a ban on plastic straws will go into effect next year.
Starbucks The strawless lids will be implemented in Seattle and Vancouver beginning this fall.
Starbucks said it hopes other major retailers will make the same move away from plastic.